MLS: Timbers continue run with draw at St. Louis City

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James Pantemis made two saves, Claudio Bravo helped the goalkeeper with an exceptional goal-line block and the Portland Timbers earned a gritty 0-0 draw at St. Louis City SC on Saturday night.

Pantemis kept his second clean sheet in his sixth start while deputizing for Maxime Crepeau, who will miss the next several weeks for Portland (5-7-6, 21 points) while on international duty for Canada.

Bravo’s decisive action helped the Timbers extend their unbeaten run to four matches and keep hold of the ninth and final spot above the playoff line in the Western Conference.

Portland’s shutout also came without defenders Kamal Miller and Miguel Araujo, who are also playing for their national teams.

Roman Burki made two saves for St. Louis (3-4-9, 18 points), which drew its second straight match but saw its winless run extended to five matches.

The Swiss ‘keeper’s fifth clean sheet did halt a stretch of five games conceding, and four in a row allowing multiple goals.

St Louis outshot Portland 15-7 overall and narrowly led 4-2 in efforts on target. And it came the closest of either side to scoring with just over 15 minutes remaining.

Eduard Lowen’s bending free kick struck the upright with Pantemis beaten, and Bravo stretched out his leg to clear Tim Parker’s rebound attempt off the line.

It was fitting that the hosts’ best chance came from a set piece given that neither team created much from open play.

Parker and Portland’s Nathan Fogaca traded off-target headers on either side of the 15-minute mark.

About 20 minutes later, City striker Joao Klauss had a chance from a promising position blocked by Timbers center back Zac McGraw

St. Louis saw center back Joakim Nilsson leave early in the second half with an apparent injury. His defensive midfield teammate Chris Durkin received his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he’ll be suspended for St. Louis’ next game.

Durkin’s booking was one of six earned by the home side, perhaps a sign of growing frustration on its way to adding to its MLS-leading draw total.

–Field Level Media

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